absinthe hair booth rental salon absinthe

The Empire Needs You – Join the Booth Rental Revolution!


Salutations friends! I’ve had so many positive responses and well wishes on the opening of my brand new salon in Rocky Hill, Knoxville, and so many questions regarding booth rental that I decided to write a short post and try to answer some of them!

I went immediately into booth rental fresh out of beauty school! It was magical, and I loved all the freedom that comes with renting a space! When you rent a booth, you choose your own hours, you wear what you want, you say what you want, carry whatever products/color you choose, choose your services and your prices! You also don’t have to put up with rude clients. You are free to decline any services you wish. Hate perms? Don’t do them! Specialize in fancy haircuts? Pick your price. Wanna go to the hair show on the opposite end of the country? Pursue your own education and consider it a tax write off. It’s the best gig in the universe!

I am going to be real and say it’s not all sunshine and rainbow hair. The parts that suck? You are basically an independent contractor, this means you have to deal with your taxes. If you do not put money back accordingly, you will have a bad time when Uncle Sam wants his money come tax season. I advise paying it quarterly. You do your own laundry and schedule your own clients also. That’s about it.

Let’s talk about why booth rental is so advised against. From the very moment you started beauty school, I’m sure you’ve heard 395683925 people saying to avoid booth rental at all costs. Bitch please, if I can do it, anyone can do it. It takes drive and ambition, yes. But the main reason salon owners are discouraging this? THEY ARE MAKING SO MUCH MONEY OFF YOU. They provide $20 (maybe) a service in products and then they keep 30-60% of the money off your services? That is CRAZY. You are literally doing all of the work and still having to give a good chunk of your money away. That’s YOUR money, home fries. My booth rent is $135 a week if you sign up in June. How much do you get for your average service? For a super basic all over highlight and haircut, I charge about $150. That is your booth rent and then some. On your first service of the week. Which means you keep 100% of the rest. Your income potential is LIMITLESS.

Why do you think commission based salons are so touchy about you keeping your clients information? They want that money. Your clients could care less where they are going, they are coming to see YOU. Why do you think so many places will fire you in an instant with little to no notice? So you cannot tell your clients where you are going, and they will not tell them where you went.

Because your clients WILL follow you.

Take control fellow hairdressers! I’m opening a booth rental salon because I want to see you all succeed and bring a sense of community back to our industry instead of constantly being pitted against one another! I want to see you work for yourselves instead of a corporation, to take control of your career, to pursue your own education and make your own destiny!

Commission and hourly salons will soon be a thing of the past, so many people are succeeding at booth/suite rental. Join the revolution!

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The Truth About Creative Color

You’ve seen them. All over Pinterest and Instagram. Highly edited photos of rainbow braids, mega vibrant neons, oil slicks, opals and everything in between when it comes to creative haircolor. Beautiful, aren’t they? I’m notorious for posting mine myself, except without the editing.

Let me start by saying I LIVE for creative color! I adore the process. There’s nothing quite like watching someone morph into a magical unicorn in your chair. The possibilities are endless, an infinite number of of color palettes can be achieved via intermixing, shifting existing tones, and all done usually without having to bleach more that once! Until it’s new growth time, of course.

My clients and I have an understanding. Each one that is interested in creatives gets a thorough consultation to discuss the many facets of the process and are prepared for the maintenance that is involved.

First. If you have existing permanent color in your hair, creative may not be achievable without several visits. The hair has to be light enough to accept the pigment. This means bleaching. Bleach can be damaging. I’m the most careful person in the universe when it comes to bleaching so I make sure your hair will maintain its integrity before the process even begins.

Second. The fading! The bleeding! Creative color fades MUCH faster than its permanent cousins. This is caused by a multitude of reasons! Porosity of the hair, the amount of times you shampoo your hair, and the products you are using are the usual suspects. If you are not using a sulfate and paraben free professional grade shampoo, your color will come out in as little as a week.  Even with less shampooing, in ice cold water, with professional products, your new magical hair is expected to fade in 3-6 weeks. Bleeding is also a thing. Say goodbye to your white t-shirts for a minute.

Third. Even though it fades quickly, creative colors tend to stay longer. They fade down to a pastel shade that never quite comes out. Bleach and color removers will not get them out. The remaining pigment in the hair determines what color can then be achieved.  I advise my clients that once I do the initial all over bleaching, I will not overlap bleach again. But. The fun part. Whenever creatives fade, I can come up with a whole new palette if you so choose, based on the remaining pigment. As long as there’s no hopping across the color wheel. You had purple? No, you cannot have orange. But you can have pink, red, or perhaps even blue! Re-depositing creative color causes no damage and it’s super fun to be able to switch them up so easily!

Fourth. I typically won’t do pastel shades initially. I recommend getting a vibrant color and letting it fade down. Which will happen quickly, usually. In my experience, pastel shades done right of the bat are gone within two weeks. You will get more wear for your money by starting vivid and letting it fade down.

Fifth. Silver! OH SILVER. I must admit, greys and silvers are beautiful! Unfortunately, unless you have 100% virgin hair that is a medium blonde and no darker, I will turn you down. If there is ANY, and I mean ANY existing color in your hair, silver is not a thing. One of my clients (Hey Shannon!) had a level 1 (Black as the inside of a coffin on a moonless night) and it took us no less than SEVEN visits with careful bleaching to get her peek a boos light enough to accept grey. I will not sacrifice the integrity of your hair for a trendy color. You will thank me later.

All of this taken into consideration, I have a large clientele for creatives! Is it expensive? Yes. Is it high maintenance? Yes. Is it worth it to have magical unicorn hair that is happy and healthy? Absolutely! Just be prepared to spend lots of time with me, yay!

Come in today for a free consultation and let’s chat about the color you’ve always dreamed of!

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Salon Absinthe, open and cruelty-free


After lots of hard work, Salon Absinthe opened its doors this week! I put careful thought into the color and products I wanted to bring in and wanted to give you a few reasons why I chose them.

First, I’m proud to say Salon Absinthe is 100% cruelty-free! The color line I chose and the product lines do not test on animals! This is exciting, people!

Framesi, USA.
Framesi is an amazing color line! Founded in 1945, Milan Italy. This company pioneered the use of Italian hair color in the United States! They also introduced the 10 level coloring system and their colors are constantly updated to keep up with the newest trends. They also only contain 2% ammonia, this is one of the lowest on the market.

One of the main ingredients for Framcolor is vegetable coconut oil. Leaving the hair with a brilliant shine and unmatched softness.

Framesi is 100% vegan. Cruelty-free, and no use of animal by-products. It is also gluten free, paraben free, sulfate free, dea free, and sodium chloride free.

I was interested to hear that most shampoos and conditioners contain DEA, and this chemical is a known carcinogen.

After using the color a few times, I was sold. Gorgeous pigmentation and the condition and shine of the haircolor is stunning.

The Color Lover Masque is unparalleled, I have used many, much more expensive masques and this one is the absolute best I’ve ever gotten my little tattooed paws on.

I’m proud to carry Framesi color and products.

Anchors Hair Company
Let’s just talk about Anchors Hair Company for a moment. Many of you know how obsessed I am with these products. We carried them at Tease for a bit and I was certainly disappointed when we no longer did!

Anchors is a local company! Handcrafted in Knoxville, Tennessee and in small batches to maintain integrity. No parabens or harsh chemicals and 90% of the scent is from essential oils to retain luster in your hair. With a water base and oil base, you can achieve many finishes depending on which you choose!

They also shampoo easily out, which is a miracle if you know anything about many other lower grade pomades. Also dye and alcohol free!

Teddy boy matte is a personal favorite, water based and with a light scent that is just delightful. And the best, you only need a dime sized amount for hours of control.

Beauty and Pinups.
Beauty and Pinups uses only a-list ingredients. In a literal sense.

Amla oil, a product of India to add strength. Argan oil, of the Mediterranean with well known softening and conditioning properties. Avacado oil is also present, chock full of omega 3s to impart a brilliant shine.

This product line is also free of parabens and sulfates and cruelty free!
Take a gander at that packaging as well. Wins all around!

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Cut and color, a bargain when you think about it


Why is hair so expensive?

I get that a lot.

No, of course I’m not scowling dear reader, I’d be happy to explain.

An average cut and color service will run you around $100. I know that sounds very expensive. My friend and amazing coworker Justin Berry said it best. How much do you spend on your clothing? That fancy designer bag you carry for a few weeks then toss in the back of the closet?

You wear your hair every day.

The money you spend on your hair goes to many different things. The better than average color we use (which of course costs a little more) that gives mirror shine, and fade resistant. I have tons of education about chemicals and color theory and cutting design. That class I took last week may have costed hundreds. The products I choose specifically for your hair type are cruelty free and contain only the highest grade ingredients. How can I even tell your hair type? Because I continue my education! Continuing education to bring you the newest trends and techniques can cost thousands per year.

Attending beauty school alone will cost you $20,000 to $30,000 when it’s all said and done, and reader, that is only to learn the basics about how *not* to burn your hair off! We haven’t even started talking about the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into becoming a Cosmetologist. Long hours, assisting diva stylists, making mistakes and correcting them, laughing and crying with you with all life has to offer over the years. Each day adding more experience to my resume to bring you the perfect hair you’ve always dreamed of.

Sounds like a lot right? No!

I love what I do! I love creating a mutual vision with each client, mapping out color placement and cutting technique.  The community of my fellow artists and of course my wonderful clients! You guys give me life.

Yes, my services can be expensive. I can promise you that I’m bringing you the latest and greatest techniques with placement, color theory, and cutting design. I invest a lot of money in my craft to be able to provide my clients all this with confidence while saving the integrity of your luscious locks. If that doesn’t sound awesome enough, to top it off: You get to hang out with me for awhile!

It doesn’t get much better than that.

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Why I chose booth rental

When I was in beauty school, I always heard that jumping into a booth rental salon was the worst thing you could do for your career, especially as a new stylist. I went against everyone’s advice, and went straight into booth rental, fresh out of beauty school.
It was the best decision I have made thus far in my career.
I make my own schedule. I keep 100% of my profit. I pursue my own education. I don’t have to work long days making only a percentage of my services. I open and close my books at will. Want to take a day off? I don’t have to ask anyone. Issues with a terrible client? Fire them. I get to be my own boss, working whatever hours I choose. Want to work 60 hours a week? Cool. Want to work 15 hours a week? Also cool. I could not be happier with my decision. I make three times the amount I did at my previous job, and only half the hours put in. As a first year stylist.
The only downside of booth rental? Keeping up with your income and expenses for taxes. That’s it. The ONLY downside.
I admit, some of my clients followed me from school. So I already had a very small clientele at the time I started in my booth rental salon. In proud to say that in less than two years as a licensed cosmetologist, I have built a loyal clientele. I rarely have openings unless they’re a week or two out. Is this the same as being booked 8 hours straight for 3 months? Of course not. I’m still working on building mine, but in less than two years, that’s absolutely amazing.
I truly feel the goal for everyone should be to work for yourself and not some corporation. Why do bigger salons discourage booth rental? Because they are making so much money off of their stylists. You have the potential to keep all of your hard earned profit. Not 40%. Not 50%. But 100%. All day every day. And not have to answer to anyone. Running a few minutes late? Bring your client a coffee and they usually forgive you. No silly dress codes either. Yes.
Booth rental was the perfect decision for me, and I love this industry so much. I can’t imagine my life any other way.
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Salon products vs Drugstore products


I know salon products can seem expensive initially, when compared to much cheaper brands you can find at major retailers and drugstores. Here are a few reasons why salon quality products are much better than the rest!

• They are more expensive because they are much better for your hair! They are made with higher quality ingredients for the very purpose of maintaining that beautiful color or cut you just had done! Free of all the icky stuff that can be found in many drugstore brands, you will see a HUGE difference in how long your color will last, or how a shampoo and conditioner designed specifically for your hair type (curly, fine, etc) will make taking care of your hair a breeze. Drugstore shampoo and conditioner contain many things that wreak havoc on haircolor. Full of salt, sulfates, and parabens, these actually STRIP color from your hair. They can cause the pigments to shift or remove them completely. Leaving you with lackluster locks that need redone more often than they would if you had been using salon quality products. Some drugstore brands marketed as ‘keratin or protein enhancing’ fail to mention that if you deposit too much keratin in your hair, it will make it weak and brittle. Leading to severe breakage.

• Salon quality products are much more concentrated than drugstore brands. 90% of the time, the main ingredient on the labels of drugstore brands is ‘aqua’. Aqua = water. Meaning they are so diluted down, you buy SO MUCH more in the long run. You maybe take the plunge and buy a slightly more expensive product at the salon, but it will last you way longer.

• Did you know, when you buy ‘professional’ products from online sources like Ebay and Amazon, many of these are filled with something else or retrieved out of the trash? Professional shampoos and conditioners have an expiration date. When it expires, we throw it out. Online sources who are not licensed to sell these can and will retrieve them just to make money.

• Purchasing products from your favorite salon also helps support that business! Supporting your favorite place AND maintaining the integrity of your hair? What’s not to love about that?

Drop by any time and check out the products at Tease Knoxville. Two of my absolute favorites are Kevin Murphy and Anchors Hair Company. Two amazing products that we’re proud to offer. (Not every product is right for everyone, so I may recommend something different after consultation – but the only way to find out what is truly right for you is to talk to a stylist).

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It doesn’t have to be me, but please make sure your stylist or makeup artist is a true professional

Photo Credit: Christy Baird at Atomic City Photography

The holidays are quickly approaching! I’m super excited and getting prepared for the madness at Tease, it gets so busy and I love it, as we make Knoxville look its best! I’ve already been keeping an eye on the holiday hair and makeup trends for this year and I can’t wait to get started! Getting people dolled up for their holiday parties are some of my favorite things to do!

The makeup that I use for any holiday event, being Halloween or Christmas and everything else is ALL professional, FDA approved, cosmetic grade pigments and powders. This can get VERY expensive. Why? Because I care about what I put on your skin! I want you to look and feel beautiful for your event and not worry about having an allergic reaction because of some sketchy pigments purchased off eBay. I was so busy this past Halloween that I was booked completely for makeup for TWO days! (Thank you Knoxville!!) I also heard about unlicensed makeup artists painting faces with $1 acrylic paint that you find in the craft section! WHATTTT?! These people are using the SAME paint that you used on a birdhouses, on your FACE?!?! It causes me to cringe, some of my clients skin is so sensitive, I have to be cautious about what professional makeup I am using. What kind of reaction would they have to a non FDA approved devil-potion being put on their face? I can’t imagine.

Did you know that craft store glitter is cut with glass, and that is why it’s not safe for use on skin, and God forbid, the eyes? I do! I spent 1500 hours of blood, sweat, and tears to pursue my diploma in Cosmetology and I display it proudly. In beauty school, we are required to have 200 hours of sanitation before we can even start to put our combs in someone’s hair. We are taught what makeup has to be used with disposable applicators. We are taught how to sanitize our tools and other implements. We are shown what infections can happen from being careless. (The amount of these would scare you). We can name them. We are taught blood spill procedures, and how incredibly easy it is to pass disease from one person to another, if we overlook these steps.

Do they have a jar of Barbicide handy to sanitize that comb they just put in your hair? Cleansing with soap and water will not kill bacteria. Spraying alcohol will not kill bacteria/fungus and in some regards can actually increase pathogen growth. How many people has that comb touched before it got to you? What kind of makeup is your artist using? Are they using disposable tools, or are their brushes clean? These are questions you should be asking.

When you have your hair and makeup done for your holiday function this year, make sure to see a licensed or otherwise certified artist. We put in so much time and expense to bring you the newest trends, tricks, and information in the safest way possible.

Ready to look your best? Come to Tease Knoxville and see me.


Vintage Men’s Haircuts


10534552_678674375554366_7438591827269523243_nHaving gained notoriety in the past several months for my precision in vintage men’s haircuts, I thought I would elaborate on why I love them so much.

You’ve seen them around. Having made a comeback in recent mainstream media and in trendy circles alike, these haircuts are everywhere. I’ve done them on clients who hang out in the Old City in Knoxville, to men who speak in front of Congress.

The pompadour, the low ‘scumbag’ fades, the hard parts, the dapper gentleman, the 50’s greaser. I love them all. Every time a client sits in my chair and says he saw one of my pompadours and wants the same, my heart swells a little with pride.

As a stylist, I know how difficult some of these can be to pull off. There has to be an understanding of what hair type will work, what won’t, and a huge amount of technical skill required. One of my now regular clients came in and told me a scary story about his last stylist getting halfway through one of these haircuts and admitted to not knowing how to finish it. Products are an absolute necessity, I always have to explain. No one wakes up with a perfect vintage haircut, they take some time to style each morning.

There’s something about seeing a well groomed man with one of these haircuts. For me, they always conjure up the look and feel of decades passed. The Roaring Twenties. The Rockin’ Fifties. Prohibition. Al Capone. Pretty Boy Floyd. Elvis Presley. James Dean. Those eras were the epitome of cool. Men were well dressed, and they cared about their appearance.

I absolutely love being able to recreate these vintage looks and by doing that, bringing a touch of the past into the present.

If you’re looking for Vintage haircuts in Knoxville, drop by Tease for a free consultation. Let me work with you for the look you’ve always wanted.


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Makeup 101: Primers

makeup 101

Before I was a stylist, my specialty was makeup for several years. I freelanced for MAC, Tease, and for various weddings, proms, and other events in Knoxville.

The single most important items you can have in your makeup bag are primers. I have three different kinds that I keep in my personal AND professional kit at all times. Face, eye and lip.

A face primer (favorites- Too Faced, Smashbox, and MUFE) creates a barrier between your skin and your foundation. It’s going to act as a moisturizer and a ‘filler’. It will fill in fine lines, pores, and other imperfections giving your foundation a smooth surface for a beautiful finish, and they keep your foundation from moving, sliding, or smudging.

An eye primer (absolute favorite- Urban Decay Primer Potion) does the same, except the adhesion power is amazing. It creates a tacky surface for your eye color of choice to stick to. It will NOT move ALL day. It makes colors more vibrant, more blendable, and none of that creasing or raccoon eye business.

A lip primer (favorite- MAC Prep + Prime Lip) will keep your lipliner (yes, you absolutely need lip liner) from bleeding into the tiny creases around your mouth, and will keep your lip color in place and vibrant for all day wear.

Often, you can go into your local MAC or Sephora and ask for samples of primers to ultimately find the one that is right for you, and let’s face it. Samples are awesome. Go snag some today, and your makeup endeavors will be changed forever.

Want to know more? Just ask.

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Box color vs. salon color, what’s the difference?


I get this question a lot, sometimes from clients who don’t mind paying top dollar to have their hair professionally maintained every few weeks, and sometimes from a teenager who just threw Lady Clairol on her locks yesterday.

Here’s the skinny on box color vs. salon color.

First and foremost, your haircolor has to be formulated just for YOU. There are so many different variables that you have to consider before even beginning to think about color. This is why we have consultations. While I’m asking you what your goal would be, and determining your idea of what a ‘warm chocolate’ is, I’m looking at your hair. I’m considering the texture, porosity, underlying tones, and what chemicals have already been deposited. Are you a level 57 platinum blonde or a level 5 medium brown? If you were to put the exact same box color on those two people, the results would be completely different, even though the box is “designed’ for all hair types and color. Did you know you absolutely HAVE to fill blonde hair before depositing a drastically different color for it to even stay in? Probably not, because that’s my job. We stylists have all spent so much time and money on our education to know things like this, so we can give you an amazing color service without you having to worry if “Blonde and Beautiful Box” will actually be “Brassy and Not So Sassy and my Hairstylist Can’t Get Me In, So Hats For A Week.”

Box brand marketing is clever. Ms. Beautiful Celebrity really doesn’t put a $5 box color on their hair. Which probably isn’t even her real hair. They have a team of professional stylists at their disposal 24/7.

What about the god-awful stuff they use in box color? Some companies still use this thing called metallic salts in their color. Did you know that metallic salts have been used in haircolor since the late 1800s? Here are some fun facts about metallic salts:
– Every time you deposit, they continue to build up in your hair. (Giving it that wonderful straw like texture)
– Thinking about taking it out with lightener? Metallic salts are like tiny razor blades, if I try to pull them out of your hair, it’s going to leave carnage behind.
– They will never EVER come out. Most of the time, it has to be grown out and cut off.

When you come into the salon, I can tell you about the ingredients in our color line, what it does to keep your hair healthy, and why the colors look so shimmery and pretty. I can explain the difference between a semi, demi, and permanent color. I will say that our color (Alfaparf Milano) contains hyaluronic acid, and that’s a substance that is naturally in your body and helps maintain moisture. Or that there are several different conditioning treatments that I can mix directly INTO your color formula. Way cool right?

All in all, box color is totally unpredictable. I know that $10 box may seem like saving money at the time, but’s it’s definitely not going to when you have to have a $200 correction done immediately after. Cosmetologists like myself spend so much time and dollars on continuing education just so we can give you that gorgeous color you’ve been thinking about, for a stress free, mess free, awesome experience.

For a free consultation on color, make an appointment with me at Tease Knoxville and let’s discuss that color you’ve always wanted.